How to Protect Trees in Winter


Protecting trees during the winter can be an important step in keeping them healthy. Certain breeds cannot handle the winter conditions where they have been planted. Winter can create drought conditions, ruining roots and the tree's ability to generate leaves again in the spring. Disease and blight can attack trees that are not properly prepared for winter. Winds and heavy snow can damage branches and cause young, newly planted and disease-weakened trees to fall over.

Winter Protection

Step 1

Spray evergreen trees with an anti-desiccant spray to protect the foliage from drying out due to wind. Anti-desiccant spray covers the tree with a waxy coating to protect the branches.

Step 2

Cover the base of the tree with a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture in the root system. Water the mulch regularly to provide the tree with the correct amount of moisture.

Step 3

Tie branches with a strong string to protect them from breakage due to heavy ice and snow. Tie the branches to the trunk of the tree for added support. For young or weak trees pound wooden stakes into the ground in late fall and tie them to the trunk. This adds support so that the tree does not fall over.

Step 4

Wrap the branches of the tree, once tied, with a burlap sack. This protects the tree against heavy winds and ice. If the tree is by a road where salt is sprayed, double wrap the branches with burlap to keep the salt off the foliage.

Step 5

Put plastic guards around the bottom of the trunk on your trees to protect it from gnawing animals such as rabbits. Remove the protective plastic during the spring to prevent trapped moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Wooden stakes
  • Burlap wrap
  • Anti-desiccant spray
  • Mulch
  • Plastic tree guard


  • Flower Gardening Made Easy: Winter Care of Trees and Shrubs
  • Gurney's Nursery: Winter Tree Care
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Protecting Trees and Shrubs Against Winter Damage
Keywords: protect trees, winter damage to trees, tree care

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.